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Monks jailed for up to 10 years for Mar’08 Lhasa protest

August 24, 2009

Tibetan Review
August 22, 2009

Three monks of Sera monastery who in a group with
11 other fellow-monks staged a peaceful protest
in Tibet’s capital Lhasa on Mar 10, 2008 have
been sentenced to jail terms of up to ten years.
Another monk arrested while returning to Tibet
from India around the time of the March protests
has also been jailed for 10 years, reported
Oslo-based Voice of Tibet (VoT) radio service Aug 20.

The fourteen monks had staged the protest march
around the Bharkor circuit path, carrying a
Tibetan national flag and shouting slogans. All were arrested immediately.

The report said monk Lodoe had been jailed for 10
years and was being held at the Chushul Prison in
the outskirts of Lhasa. It was not clear when the
sentencing took place. His family was informed of
the sentence in Apr’09 with a warning not to
publicize it. During their visit to the prison on
Jul 15, Lodoe’s family learnt that two of his
Sera friends, Lobsang Ngodup, 29, and Mangay
Soepa, 30, had been sentenced to five-year jail term each.

As most of the 14 monks were originally from
Zachukha in Karze Prefecture of Sichuan Province,
the authorities presumed the head of Wonpo
Monastery there, Ari Rinpoche, to be somehow
responsible and took him into custody from Lhasa.
His whereabouts remain unknown.

Also, the whereabouts of a monk named Thinlay
Namgyal, arrested for allegedly setting fire to a
house during the protests in Lhasa remained
unknown. Also unknown after his arrest is the
whereabouts of Draklha, a scripture master at Sera monastery.

A monk named Sonam Dakpa who had travelled back
and forth between India and Tibet a few times was
also jailed for ten years after being arrested
around the time of the Lhasa protests last year and held at the Chushul Prison.
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